An experienced pastor will start leading PEACE Lutheran Church on Aug. 2.

Pastor Eileen Smith LeVan

Pastor Eileen Smith LeVan

The Rev. Eileen Smith LeVan of Reading, Penn., has accepted PEACE’s call to become the new senior pastor. Her first Sunday to preside at worship and preach will be Aug. 2 at the 8:45 and 11 a.m. services.

A welcome reception at 10 a.m. will be offered by PEACE’s Hospitality and Fellowship Committee. Everyone is welcome!

LeVan will be installed at a ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, led by regional church leader Rev. Judith Morgado, of Lincoln. Again, all are invited to attend the installation and the reception following.

Working hard during the transition

Pastor Eileen accepted PEACE’s call after the church went through a transition process lasting more than two years – about the normal time for a church that previously had long-term leadership, according to regional officials of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Congregation members have worked hard during this time of transition, said congregation President Dennis Berg. For more than two years, members assessed their strengths and weaknesses, considered what new directions God might want for this church, and earnestly asked for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. A committee of members interviewed candidates who they felt were best suited.

Meanwhile, members also ramped up work to prepare the church campus. Repairs are nearing completion on siding, gutters and structural supports, the landscaping is being improved, and the sound system is being reviewed. “Spring cleaning” for organizational details had led to the update of governing documents and the revival of standing committees required under the church by-laws, Berg reported.

“I am so impressed at the amount of work you have all done to continue growing the life and ministry of the congregation during your pastoral vacancy,” LeVan told Berg. “It is so easy to sit back and say, ‘We’ll just wait until the new pastor comes… then we’ll get to work.’ But you have certainly not done that!”

Experience in youth, hunger advocacy

LeVan is an ordained Lutheran pastor who is leaving Nativity Lutheran Church in Reading, Penn. She graduated from Luther College in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and embarked on a nursing career before turning to the ministry. She graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1998.

ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit

ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit

She and her congregation were included in a cover story on social responsibility in the May issue of The Lutheran. Click here to read “That Social Responsibility Thing.”

LeVan’s last act of service to her parish in Reading was to take youth to the recent ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit. She also has been active in hunger advocacy, and enjoys hiking and crocheting.

Pastor Eileen and her husband, Brian, expect to arrive in western Nevada County in late July.